And so, with the passing years, the name of Tom Rumford, coward and outcast, fades into a dim memory — while the Mississippi thrills to the deeds of a mysterious gambler and fighter—"the notorious ColonelBlake".
"That's the notorious CunnelBlake."
"Don't tell anyone—but that's CunnelBlake!"
"The notorious killer—Blake!"
To Magnolia, once the pride of the river, time has brought the shabbiness that follows long neglect.
"I do hope Lucy will be sensible and accept Joe this time."
"The river ova'flowed again—an' the cotton crop is ruined."
"Why didn't you have the levee fixed after it broke last year?"
"I hope you will respect our wishes regarding Joe."
"I won't marry Joe—I won't! And you can't make me!"
"I suppose Lucy will die an old maid—waitin' fo' Tom to come sneakin' back."
"Tom, the butterfly hunter! Now, if I were single, I'd go after someone like that dashing river gambler we hear so much about—CunnelBlake!"
"Gentlemen, we've broken a shaft. We'll be laid up here at 'Magnolia' fo' some time."